January 2, 2022

The 100 Year Anniversary of The Discovery of Insulin

"The greatest joy in life is to accomplish. It is the getting, not the having. It is the giving, not the keeping." - Sir Frederick Grant Banting.

An excerpt from, "Discovering insulin was Banting at his best" by Valerie Hauch, The Star, January 14, 2016:

He was skeletal, listless and close to dying in a Toronto General Hospital charity bed in early January, 1922. Fourteen-year-old Leonard Thompson had Type 1 diabetes and time was running out. There was no cure or effective treatment for the then-fatal “wasting away” disease that restricts the body’s ability to produce or use insulin, critical to regulating body sugars.

But Thompson was about to be entered into medical history books.

On Jan. 11, 1922 the boy was injected with a pancreatic extract prepared by Dr. Frederick Banting, 30, and his medical student assistant, Charles Best, 22, who had a B.A. in physiology and biochemistry. Banting and Best successfully prolonged the lives of diabetic dogs in their University of Toronto laboratory during the previous summer, using an extract they prepared. (It was originally derived from dog pancreases but later sourced from slaughterhouse cattle, which were more plentiful.) Before injecting Thompson they tested the safety of their extract, which they called “isletin,’’ on themselves.

An excerpt from Wikipedia:
He was wounded at the Battle of Cambrai in 1918. Despite his injuries, he helped other wounded men for sixteen hours, until another doctor told him to stop. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1919, for heroism.
. . .
As of November 2021, Banting, who received the Nobel Prize at age 32, remains the youngest Nobel laureate in the area of Physiology/Medicine.
Video Title: Sir Frederick Banting: Moment of Inspiration. Source: Anthony M. Tooton. Date Published: April 12, 2016. 

Video Title: Sir Frederick Banting: The Discovery of Insulin. Source: UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence. Date Published: November 4, 2020.